The Editor and Senator Patty Murray:
Allowing Canadian property owners vehicular access to Point Roberts to attend to their property should be part of your “narrow and tailored exception” to opening the Point Roberts/Boundary Bay border crossing.
Of the 2,176 residences in Point Roberts, approximately 75 percent are owned by Canadians. These property owners have been denied access to their residences for 17 months. During that time, these residences have deteriorated due to lack of maintenance and the inability of owners to cross into Point Roberts to attend to their property.
The primary source of revenue for Whatcom County is property tax. In Point Roberts, Canadians pay a substantial portion of these property taxes. In addition, these Canadian property owners also pay fixed fees for water and garbage services in Point Roberts that they are unable to use.
Citizen’s groups in Canada have been working diligently for over a year to establish criteria for Canadian property owners to cross into Point Roberts to maintain their property.
Documentation of property ownership, vaccine and COVID test information is now a relatively straightforward process.
The “economy” of Point Roberts is not grounded on short term visits by Canadians crossing into Point Roberts to purchase cheap gas, dairy products, alcohol and then turning around and going home.
In pre-pandemic times, these short term “convenience shoppers” from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland would often clog the border and interfere with access by Americans like myself that lived on the Point and commuted regularly across the border. I am sure that you – and your Senate colleagues – agree that the materials and services purchased and used by Canadian property owners to maintain their homes are a more significant economic driver than convenience store purchases.
The administrative mechanisms are in place to give Canadian property owners access to their residences in Point Roberts. All that remains is for you – and your local, state and federal counterparts – to enshrine these “narrow and tailored exceptions” with the force of law and re-open the border with exclusive and limited access for Canadian property owners.
The U.S. government has a legitimate interest in protecting its citizens from being exposed to the COVID virus. Particularly in isolated communities like Point Roberts, which is adjacent to the sprawling metropolis of Vancouver, B.C. Limited access by Canadian property owners fits your “narrowed and tailored exception” and provides a constructive economic lifeline to the residents.
Please urge your government to grant this exception quickly.
Point Roberts and
North Vancouver, B.C.
For want of a shoe … My first experience with helicopters was courtesy of my graduate school, the U.S. Army. In 1970, the year I graduated, eligible men participated in a draft lottery based on their birth date. I became a cavalry scout and drill sergeant, and while never being in theater, as a scout I spent a great deal of time training on foot, in a track or in helicopters. It was there that I learned the value, not only of direct insertion of troops, but also the timely extraction of the wounded. That “Golden Hour” which translates to minutes between life and death.
After we had been at the Point for a few months, I heard a sound you never forget, rotors. Why was a chopper this close? I spoke to my neighbor, got the explanation and Beth and I signed up for Airlift Northwest.
A little dose of Occam’s Razor brought me to a quick decision. If Beth and I experienced a life threatening situation, Airlift Northwest is the fastest mode of transportation and, factoring in the cost of the insurance versus the uninsured, cost is a non-starter.
I do not have any vested interest in the company. It just makes sense based on the cost. How much do you pay for a fancy coffee, any impulse item? Is it $5 or $6 a month? If you are ever in a situation or, God forbid, a loved one, where it is life threatening and the chief and his crew are waiting for the sound of those rotors to save your life, your last worry is how do I pay for this.
Not saying run right out and sign up. Let this be a reminder to evaluate your current insurance, evaluate your needs and make a decision. If it works, contact Circle of Care 360/945-5222, sign up for Airlift Northwest as part of a discount offering, and get it done. My interest is in the human condition. You are my neighbors and you are getting a little older and I want you to be around. Look at it my way – the Airlift helicopter has doors, and you don’t sit on your helmet – however, you are well attended.
Bill Zidel, Circle of Care
board of trustees
No one can deny that Point Roberts is a slice of heaven. However, the charm is tainted by the annual theft of private fruit trees. It no longer feels like heaven.
Is the pilfering for apple cider, applesauce or apple pie? Just know that your trespassing robs a family’s joy of having fruit trees.
This repeated looting casts a shadow over Point Roberts. Shame on you.
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we have much for which to be thankful. Just a few short months ago, we were shocked to discover that our venerable sanctuary – Trinity Community Lutheran Church – was at risk of collapse, due to settling and bowing of the west wall.
With little notice, it was deemed unsafe and closed to the public. The structural engineers and contractors laid out a two-phase plan to save the historic landmark, with a total estimate cost of $200,000.
Phase 1, at $100,000, could not wait if we were to save the structure from collapse. Under the circumstances, the Trinity Church board took a leap of faith in the community and told the contractor to commence work while we started our fundraising campaign. The local community and other friends far and wide with ties and affection for the church justified our faith. We have almost reached our Phase 1 goal of $100,000 – enough to pay for the current work.
We give sincere thanks to the 112 donors who so far have responded to our appeal, contributing $20, $100, $1,000, even $10,000 to the cause.
Now we must appeal for still more support to finish the job. Phase 2, at cost of another $100,000 will retrofit the foundation and protect the structure in the event of a major earthquake. We are fortunate that the structure has survived its first 100 years of service to the community – a role that goes beyond spiritual, to include community concerts, kids summer music camps, a food bank, and support for the Red Cross if ever needed as a shelter.
Our goal, in seeking phase 2 funding is to assure Trinity’s continued service for the next 100 years. Please join us in giving thanks, and please help us complete the job.
Andrew Mar, chair
Preserve our Historic Landmark
Jonquil and I want to thank all our wonderful neighbors in Point Roberts that have helped us in our search for our five-year-old cat, Katniss. As most of you know, Katniss went missing at Lighthouse Marine Park almost two months ago.
Many of you were familiar with her because she went everywhere with the us on the dash of our Jeep or our red Silverado. We have not given up hope that she will turn up. If she is still wearing her orange collar, it has a small bell attached. I’m putting this notice in the Letters to the Editor section of the All Point Bulletin because, as we learned while we searched, not all residents subscribe to PAWS or Next Door or aware that she was missing.
I have enjoyed many pets – dogs, cats, birds – but this little lady was very, very special because, as a five-week-old abandoned kitten, she found me while I walked my dog early one morning in the Arizona desert. As you can imagine, we are heart broken.
Again, thanks to all of you.
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